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AB-1459 Murder: peace officers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/17/2017 09:00 PM
AB1459:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1459


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk-Silva

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 189 and 190 of add Section 189.1 to the Penal Code, relating to murder.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1459, as amended, Quirk-Silva. Murder: punishment. peace officers.
Under existing law, a murder perpetrated by specified means or under certain circumstances, including a killing that is willful, deliberate, and premeditated, is defined as murder of the first degree. All other kinds of murder are of the second degree. Existing law, as added by the Briggs Initiative, a measure approved by the voters at the November 7, 1978, statewide general election, requires that persons Under existing law, a person convicted of first degree murder be is subject to a punishment of death, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or confinement in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life. Existing law, as approved by the voters as Proposition 67 at the June 7, 1988, statewide primary election, made Under existing law, the 2nd degree murder of a peace officer, as specified, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life. Existing law, as approved by the voters as Proposition 222 at the June 2, 1998, statewide primary election, made life, and the 2nd degree murder of a peace officer, if specified facts are charged and found true, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of life without the possibility of parole.

This bill would make the murder of a peace officer, as defined, who was killed while engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and if the defendant knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, murder of the first degree. The bill would make a person convicted of this type of murder of the first degree subject to punishment by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole if specified facts are charged and found true.

By classifying the murder of a peace officer, as specified, as murder of the first degree and increasing the penalty for murdering a peace officer, this bill would amend the above-referenced initiative statutes.

The California Constitution authorizes the Legislature to amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective when approved by the electors.

This bill would provide that its provisions will become effective only upon approval of the voters, and would provide for the submission of this measure to the voters for approval at a statewide election.

This bill would state the findings and declarations of the Legislature that the unlawful killing of a peace officer, as defined, that is deliberate, willful, and premeditated is murder of the first degree for purposes of the gravity of the offense and the support of the survivors. The bill would identify these findings as declaratory of existing law.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

  The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Last year, 144 peace officers died in the line of duty in the United States, the highest number in five years.
(b) Nearly one-half of these officers were fatally shot.
(c) In California, 11 officers died in the line of duty last year, a 50-percent increase from the year before.
(d) The Legislature recognizes the dangers faced by the men and women who serve as peace officers in the state.
(e) In enacting this legislation, it is the intent of the Legislature to reiterate that California law protects all victims of violent crime, including when the victim is a peace officer.

SEC. 2.

 Section 189.1 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

189.1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that all unlawful killings that are willful, deliberate, and premeditated and in which the victim was a peace officer, as defined in Section 830, who was killed while engaged in the performance of his or her duties, where the defendant knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, are considered murder of the first degree for all purposes, including the gravity of the offense and the support of survivors.
(b) This section is declarative of existing law.

SECTION 1.Section 189 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
189.

All murder that is perpetrated by means of a destructive device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison, lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing or that is committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery, burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable under Section 206, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, any murder that is perpetrated by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the intent to inflict death, or any murder in which the victim was a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 830.1, subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 830.2, subdivision (a) of Section 830.33, or Section 830.5, who was killed while engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the defendant knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties is murder of the first degree. All other kinds of murders are of the second degree.

As used in this section, “destructive device” means any destructive device as defined in Section 16460, and “explosive” means any explosive as defined in Section 12000 of the Health and Safety Code.

As used in this section, “weapon of mass destruction” means any item defined in Section 11417.

To prove the killing was “deliberate and premeditated,” it shall not be necessary to prove the defendant maturely and meaningfully reflected upon the gravity of his or her act.

SEC. 2.Section 190 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
190.

(a)(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), every person guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death, imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole, or imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life.

(2)Every person guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death or imprisonment in the state prison for a term of life without the possibility of parole if the victim was a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 830.1, subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 830.2, subdivision (a) of Section 830.33, or Section 830.5, who was killed while engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the defendant knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and any of the following facts has been charged and found true:

(A)The defendant specifically intended to kill the peace officer.

(B)The defendant specifically intended to inflict great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7, on a peace officer.

(C)The defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon in the commission of the offense, in violation of subdivision (b) of Section 12022.

(D)The defendant personally used a firearm in the commission of the offense, in violation of Section 12022.5.

(3)The penalty to be applied for murder in the first degree pursuant to this subdivision shall be determined as provided in Sections 190.1, 190.2, 190.3, 190.4, and 190.5.

(b)Except as provided in subdivision (c), every person guilty of murder in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life.

(c)Every person guilty of murder in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 20 years to life if the killing was perpetrated by means of shooting a firearm from a motor vehicle, intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the intent to inflict great bodily injury.

(d)Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 2930) of Chapter 7 of Title 1 of Part 3 shall not apply to reduce any minimum term of a sentence imposed pursuant to this section. A person sentenced pursuant to this section shall not be released on parole prior to serving the minimum term of confinement prescribed by this section.

SEC. 3.

Sections 1 and 2 of this act amend an initiative statute and shall become effective only when submitted to and approved by the voters. The Secretary of State shall submit Sections 1 and 2 of this act for approval by the voters at a statewide election in accordance with Section 9040 of the Elections Code.